Singapore Open 2021: Saina Nehwal for the first time since 2012 will now be part of the Olympics after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced the cancellation of the Singapore Open. Scheduled for 1-6 June, it was the last of the qualifying events to be held before the Tokyo Games. Kidambi Srikanth will also miss out.
“All attempts were made by the organisers and BWF to provide a safe tournament environment for all participants. However, rising COVID-19 cases globally led to complex challenges in managing inbound travel. Thus, in the interests of all players, tournament personnel and the local community’s health and safety, the event has been cancelled,” the statement read. “BWF can confirm the tournament will not be rescheduled,” it added.
Earlier, B Sai Praneeth who is currently 13th in world rankings and has qualified for the Games had withdrawn from the tournament citing the 21-day mandatory quarantine.
“It’s because we have to do 21 days quarantine and you can’t play even it is 14 days quarantine. Without practice it is very tough to play,” Praneeth had told IndianExpress.
Women’s doubles pairing of Ashwini Ponappa-Sikki Reddy have also withdrawn from the tournament ending their qualification hope. Men’s doubles Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have also withdrawn and will not travel to Singapore for the tournament.
Indians would have to undergo obligatory 21 days of quarantine in Singapore, which has anyway stopped flights from India. While other shuttlers haven’t yet withdrawn, the 21-day window shuts today.
Meanwhile, BWF will issue a further statement on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying at a later date.
Tokyo Olympics: Who all have a chance to qualify?
As things stand, 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu and 2019 World Championships bronze medallist Praneeth are most likely to head to Tokyo. The World No.10 doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty are also on their way to Tokyo.